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South West Under-12 League (Shield Final)
St Joseph’s Glenavy 2-03 Cuchullian’s Dunloy 1-05
The second game of this double header at Ahoghill on Monday evening was the contest for the under-12 shield and it proved to be a most enjoyable affair and the proverbial ‘game of two halves’. The quick starting Glenavy looked like running away with it early on but had to dig deep to hold on to repel the strong finishing Dunloy and secure the silverware.
The St Joseph’s side with the impressive Michael Morgan leading the attack raced away to claim a couple of early goals and ensure a 2-02 to 0-02 interval lead but as the Cuchullain’s gained momentum in the second half with Oisin McCamphill leading the charge the Glenavy boys were forced to dig deep.
Dunloy looked to employ the scoreboard attendants first in the opening phase of the under-12 shield decider but they were to rue missed opportunities to include a penalty in the opening five minutes.
The Cuchullian’s had spurned a couple of chances in the opening two minutes before a 3rd minute Michael Morgan strike yielded a point for Glenavy to see the St Joseph’s open their account but when Dunloy’s Eoin Richmond was fouled inside the square to earn a 5th minute penalty the full forward assumed the spot kicking duty himself.
The Glenavy keeper Matthew Nelson, who was to play a starring role was equal to the task however as he went to his right to make a splendid save to deny the striker.
As Dunloy continued to spurn opportunities it was Glenavy who were proving more accomplished in attack and they went further ahead in the 10th minute as a pin point pass from Odhran Arthurs sent Michael Morgan in for a goal.
Glenavy had grabbed control and went further ahead in the 12th minute when a well laid counter attack initiated by net minder Matthew Nelson and carried forward by an Eoin Philips delivery opened the way for Michael Morgan to add a second goal.
The St Joseph’s boys had 2-01 on the board and the wasteful Cuchullian’s were still to open their account.
Dunloy finally got off the mark in the 15th minute as Oisin Mc Camphill sped through the middle to raise white, but Glenavy answered in kind shortly after as a precision movement involving net minder Matthew Nelson, James Monaghan, and Eoin Philips in turn sent the ever accurate Michael Morgan in to add a 19th minute point.
The Dunloy wide tally, having increased was halted in the latter stages of the opening period in stylish fashion as Cathaoir Gormley added a Dunloy point but at the short blast Glenavy held a six point lead, 2-02 to 0-02.
At the start of the second half Glenavy continued where they had left off and they looked in charge when Eoin Philips increased the advantage with an early strike which yielded a 22nd minute point.
St Joseph’s having moved 2-03 to 0-02 ahead looked on their way but in the event this was to prove their last score as the young Cuchullain’s rose to the challenge.
Dunloy looked to bridge the gap in the early minutes but despite impressive approach play they were still finding it difficult to locate the target.
Such was about to change however as the impressive Oisin Mc Camphill led the way and a foul on the mid fielder opened the door for Francis Mc Mullan to send the resultant free over the bar and when Eoin Richmond delivered the former grabbed a 34th minute goal.
Only one score separated the sides as the tide had obviously turned and although Glenavy still led, 2-03 to 1-03 the Cuchullian’s had taken control and seemed on the march.
Oisin Mc Camphill added another point in the 36th minute as the Cuchullian’s laid siege and the Glenavy boys were now defending with everything they had to contain their opponents
The end was in sight as the Cuchullian’s continued to press and both Francis Mc Mullan and Pearce Mc Lean were just off target with respective chances.
The clock ticked onwards towards the 40 minute mark with just two points separating the sides when Francis McMullan held his nerve to despatch a 30 metre free over the bar.
Injury time progressed with the boys from Chapel Hill battling to hold on and although Cuchullain’s continued to press they were not to make another mark and the referee’s long blast brought relief to Glenavy as they concluded with a 2-03 to 1-05 margin to secure the Shield.
Glenavy: Matthew Nelson, Oisin McArdle, Peter Mulholland, Sean Mulholland, Dara McAllister, James Monaghan, Eoin Byrne, Odhran Arthurs, Eoin Philips (0-01), Matthew Kane, Niall Burke, Michael Morgan (2-02), Ethan Hotchkiss.
Subs: Oisin Brown for E Hotchkiss
Dunloy: Aaron McFerran, Jay McAuley, Ben O’ Kane, Ryan Scott, Stephen McCamphill, Francis McMullan (0-01), Pearce Maguire, Oisin McCamphill (1-02), Cathaoir Gormley (0-01), Reece Cunning, Callum Dixon, Connor Mort, Pearce McLean.
Subs: Paudie Martin for P McLean
Referee: Peter Higgins (Tir na nOg)